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MORNING BID-Fed chief, and OPEC+, roll on Thursday

·2 min read

A look at the day ahead from Dhara Ranasinghe

No doubt there's a calmer tone in world bond markets after last week's sharp selloff. Yet Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is under pressure to spell out his thoughts and possible action on rising U.S. bond yields when he speaks later.

While the bar for Fed action to contain rising borrowing costs is seen as high, talk is growing that the Fed may have to consider "Operation Twist" -- a policy used in the past to shift bond purchases to the long-end of the yield curve and keep borrowing costs down.

Ahead of Powell's speech, 10-year Treasury yields are holding below last week's one-year high but Wednesday's move back up is hurting shares nonetheless.

U.S. stock futures are in the red, following Wednesday's tech shares selloff, while European equities are tipped to open lower. London's FTSE index, which rallied on Wednesday after finance minister Rishi Sunak's budget plan, was also expected to pull back.

In currency markets, the dollar is trading near seven-month highs against the yen.

Now to the second big event of the day -- a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies.

Expectations were that OPEC+, as the group is known, would ease production cuts by around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from April. But a possibility it may decide against increasing output is lifting oil prices for a second straight day, with Brent crude up almost 1% at nearly $65 a barrel.

In corporate news, Deutsche Lufthansa posted a smaller-than-expected net loss in the fourth quarter. Logistics property firm CTP says it will seek an Amsterdam listing, another sign perhaps of the Dutch capital's ascendancy in share trading and listing -- at London's expense.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Thursday: - RBNZ Governor Orr says monetary policy needs to remain stimulative. - Malaysia's central bank keeps key rate steady at record lows. - Euro zone retail sales data expected to show a fall in Jan. - US weekly jobless/durable goods orders, industrial goods data due out - ECB speakers include Dutch central bank chief Klaas Knot and Portugal's Mario Centeno.

(Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe)